Dutch population aging rapidly

During the post-war period of 1946-1955 there was a baby boom, with the Dutch birth rate being the highest in Western Europe until the mid 1950s.

This has massive implications for the Netherlands, changing through time as this generation moved through their life-stages. There were overcrowded primary school classes in the 1950s, a surge on the labour market and in higher education in the 1960s, a construction frenzy in the 1970s, and from 2011, a large rise in the number of 65 year-olds.

Many baby boomers are still working, are at the top of the careers, and therefore have a relatively high income and have built up substantial savings. When the Netherlands had a enlarged working-age population, the economy benefited massively.

However, there is trouble ahead. Currently in 2012 there are 225.000 65 year olds, on the cusp of retirement. The first batch of baby boomers, those born in 1946, became eligible for old-age pension 2011. Their retirement led to a sharp rise in the number of pensions in the Netherlands, draining public finances.

Around 2050, the economic costs of having a population bulge will really begin to bite. Over 1,8 million people, 10 percent of the population, will be 80 or older. The Netherlands will have to boost spending on healthcare, care services and pensions to cope with the pressure.

Source: Statistics Netherlands

James Shaw


James Shaw

James is an assistant editor at IamExpat, and is the newest member of the team. Interests include travelling, parties, and his beloved Manchester United. From Manchester, UK, but now living...

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